NAB volunteers have given the gift of conservation at Christmas, working with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) to restore threatened Coastal Moonah Woodlands at Point Roadknight.
NAB Melbourne senior manager Tim Gorst said NAB employees are encouraged to spend several days each year doing activities that connect them with the communities in which they live and work.
“We get together about this time every year to work with GORCC so it is becoming something of a tradition,”
“We all live in Torquay and enjoy this special environment so the day was a great opportunity to support some of the important work GORCC undertakes to protect the local coast.”
Mr.Gorst said volunteering on the coast didn’t just benefit the environment.
“As a bunch of pen pushers it is great to be out of the office, and rewarding to see the fruits of our labour at the end of the day,” he said.
The volunteers helped to clear Tea Tree, an environmental weed, from a coastal revegetation site in Point Roadknight.
“None of us realised it had become a problem and was choking out a lot of other native vegetation,” said Mr.Gorst.
GORCC Conservation officer Georgie Beale said Tea Tree, while native to Australia, is not indigenous to this part of the coast.
“Coast Tea-Tree has invaded many coastal areas since the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires forming thickets on dunes and heathlands.
“The weed smothers indigenous vegetation through shading and competition for resources such as water, soil and nutrients and therefore reduces the habitat of indigenous fauna,” she said.
Ms. Beale said Tea Tree isn’t the only issue.
“Garden escapees such as Polygala are also devastating to these threatened plant communities.
“We would encourage coastal landowners to plant indigenous plants in their garden – pretty flowers are often the biggest menace,”
“We would also ask that people don’t dispose of their garden cuttings on the coast, as this also encourages spread,” she said.
Ms. Beale said the GORCC conservation team had been working with volunteers and school groups over several years to restore over nine hectares of coast.
“ANGAIR volunteers, in particular have worked for almost a decade to improve biodiversity in the area.
Ms. Beale said GORCC hoped to see indigenous plants and animals return to the area.
“With improved biodiversity we should see all sorts of fauna inhabiting the area.
“We might even see the return of species such as the Southern Brown Bandicoot,” she said.
Learn more about coastal volunteering at www.gorcc.com.au
This article featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column – Check it out here!
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